Issue No. 11 - November (2011 vol. 44)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2011.336
The IEEE Computer Society offers a lineup of 12 peer-reviewed technical magazines that cover cutting-edge topics in computing including scientific applications, design and test, security, Internet computing, machine intelligence, digital graphics, and computer history. Select articles from recent issues of Computer Society magazines are highlighted below.
Lateness is the most common form of software project failure. Its causes can seem complex when viewed from ground level, but are surprisingly simple with a slightly more distanced perspective. In "All Late Projects Are the Same" in Software's November/December issue, Tom DeMarco says that what's really wrong with software folks is that they are continually beating themselves up for something that's somebody else's fault. DeMarco asserts that the louder the complaints about project lateness, the more likely it is that the project set out to deliver marginal value and was therefore kicked off under the false premise that it could be completed on the cheap.
To help people live better in today's digitally explosive environment, the authors of "Cyber-Individual Meets Brain Informatics" in the September/October issue of IS envision a Cyber-Individual (Cyber-I) that is the counterpart of a real individual in the physical world. Brain informatics, an emerging interdisciplinary field that systematically studies the human information processing mechanism, provides the principles of individual modeling that guide Cyber-I's core design and intelligence upgrade. The Cyber-I is intended to create a powerful demand for brain informatics research on individual information-processing differences and provide a testbed for evaluating future results obtained from that research.
In "Digital-Content Authoring" in CG&A's November/December special issue, guest editors Takeo Igarashi of the University of Tokyo and Radomir Mech of Adobe introduce recent advances in digital-content-creation techniques, ranging from 3D modeling to behavior authoring and image editing. Although the articles in this special issue address diverse problems, they provide a good overview of techniques common to authoring problems in general.
Given its leading role in high-performance computing for modeling and simulation, the US Department of Energy has a tremendous need for data-intensive science. The datasets it generates significantly outstrip current analysis capabilities. More comprehensive analysis would help scientists discover and identify unanticipated phenomena and expose shortcomings in current simulation methodologies and software. Also, real-time data analysis would enable intelligent design and refinement of experimental processes. "Data-Intensive Science in the US DoE: Case Studies and Future Challenges" in the November/December issue of CiSE locates the challenges and commonalities among three case studies and illuminates, in detail, the technical challenges involved in realizing data-intensive science.
Security & Privacy
S&P's September/October special issue on cyberwarfare addresses the use of cyberattacks as an instrument of warfare. The four papers selected for the issue, introduced by guest editors Thomas A. Berson of Anagram Laboratories and Dorothy E. Denning of the US Naval Postgraduate School, address topics relating to the use of cybermilitias in cyberwarfare, policy and legal issues concerning state use of cybercapabilities, military principles for conducting cyberwarfare, and strategic deterrence of cyberattacks against national infrastructure.
Much research into pervasive computing has been devoted to systems comprising a small number of devices that interact with a single individual or a small group of users. Body-worn sensors and sensors embedded in the user's environment are used to infer user location, activity, and information about the user's immediate surroundings, shaping the concept of context awareness. In the October-December issue of PvC, guest editors Paul Lukowicz, Tanzeem Choudhury, and Hans Gellersen assert that as technology becomes truly pervasive, we must proceed from the "single user, single system" perspective to large-scale heterogeneous systems that involve many devices and many individuals collaborating across different spatial and temporal scales.
In IC's September/October issue, guest editor Craig W. Thompson of the University of Arkansas introduces nine articles on virtual world architectures—seven in the current issue and two to appear in future issues. The articles explore the current limitations of virtual worlds, deconstruct their architectures, and consider how the architectures might evolve to extend the technology's applications. Topics include the integration of 3D virtual world viewers with Web browsers as well as the federation and extension of virtual worlds, their accuracy, and relevant standards.
Although general-purpose CPUs have traditionally been the dominant player in both mainstream and high-performance computing systems, recent years have seen a major shift toward GPUs. Originally developed primarily for graphics and video applications, researchers are increasingly harnessing GPUs by using programming languages such as CUDA and OpenCL to provide large performance speedups for general-purpose applications. Guest editor David Brooks of Harvard University introduces Micro's September/October special issue on GPUs versus CPUs with a discussion of advances and challenges in the field of hybrid CPU/GPU computing.
The July-September issue of MultiMedia features an article titled "Mobile Visual Search: Architectures, Technologies, and the Emerging MPEG Standard" in which authors from Stanford University, Nokia Research Center, and Qualcomm review current mobile-search architectures and key component technologies. They also review MPEG activity to define a working draft for a new visual-search standard in the mobile context by February 2012.
Guest editors for the September/October special issue of IT Pro present six articles on the future of Web applications. According to their introduction, "In the coming years, billions of devices will be connected to the Internet, and they'll access and share information through the Web." Three articles focus on Web app development, one on digital diaries as an application scenario, one on the cloud computing ecosystem, and the sixth on the shrinking boundary between mobile and Web applications.